No matter what your blog is about, the odds are you’re not the only one blogging about this.
Do you need to know what’s happening on the blogs of your competitors or you should just be doing what you’re doing and ignore everyone else?
I’m going to share with you the three main reasons why I think it’s important to spy on your fellow bloggers and then it’s up to you to decide.
1. Steal Viral Ideas From Them
If you see, that a blog post of your competitor got crazy viral and generated a ton of tweets, likes and comments, here’s what you can do about it.
- Disagree with the author of the post. Take a totally opposite side and blog about it on your own blog. Controversy works well by itself, but when used on a topic that’s currently hot, it’s effect doubles.
- See if the author is missing some important points or you have something to say from your own experience. This can make a great article.
- Read what people say in the comments section, as they might give you some hints on what bothers them and causes them to spread the word about this topic. Use these hints to write a viral post of your own.
Once your article is ready, make sure to let the original author and his audience know about it. This will give your post a nice initial boost of traffic and it may pretty much take off from there.
2. Write Epic Guest Posts For Them
It may be, that your blog and the blog of your competitor have a slightly different audience. So there’s a chance that a topic that his readers go crazy about is absolutely of no interest for your own readers.
In that case you should use the three aforementioned tips to write an awesome guest article for that blog.
The benefits for yourself are the following:
- If your gets article gets more traffic, you get more visitors to your own blog from it;
- The owner of the blog will fell in love with you, since you’ve just generated him a nice spike of traffic and you did it absolutely for free;
- It will be easier for you to pitch other bloggers with your guestposts, once they see that your posts on other blogs were successful.
If you’re new to the whole concept of guest blogging, I strongly recommend you to research it further, as it’s one of the best known ways to grow your blog.
3. Be On Top Of Things
In case you’re already an authority in your field and you pretty much set the trends that others follow – you may just skip this step.
And for the rest of you, listen up. Here’s how you can benefit out of always knowing what’s hot in your field.
1. Link to worthy content from your articles.
There are a few reasons to do that. First of all, the authors of the articles that you link to will most likely see that and appreciate that (which may result in a tweet, or a link back or even friendship). And secondly, your own readers will consider you as a solid source of information, when they don’t need to go anywhere else to be on top of things
2. Tweet worthy content and share it on Facebook.
Pretty much the same principles apply here too. Bloggers will be grateful to you for sharing their content and your followers will be more engaged, as you’re always sharing the best content that’s out there.
3. Do what others don’t
When you know everything that’s happening in your field, it should be quite easy to differentiate yourself from the rest by doing something totally different and unique. This will actually turn you into an authority and trendsetter who I was referencing earlier in this section.
“Strip The Blog” – The Free Tool That Does It For You
Throughout my blogging career I used to spy on my blogging competitors manually. I would open each blog and quickly skim through their recently published articles to check if anything would stand out by the amount of tweets and likes.
But with time more and more quality blogs appear in each niche, so it gets real hard to follow all of them.
That is why I decided to develop a tool, that automates the whole process.
Meet “Strip The Blog” free online tool:
This tool will analyze the latest posts of almost any blog you put in it and return you a nice spreadsheet, listing all the articles along with the amounts of social shares they got.
You can then play with this list:
- sort articles by popularity or date;
- set thresholds for the amount of social shares;
- turn off social shares that are of no interest to you.
Here’s how a breakdown of latest posts at BloggingTips looks like:
As you can see, the tool is pretty straightforward and very easy to use. I recommend you to go play with it right away and check what’s popular on the blogs of your competitors right now.
And on the side note, I’d like to mention that the tool is still in beta, which means we’ll be adding a lot more features to it (and you basically may request them from us).
So any kind of feedback about this tool and/or feature suggestions are highly appreciated!
And Now Let’s Talk
So what do you think about the necessity of spying on your competitors based on the three tips that I’ve mentioned?
What do you think about the free tool, that we developed to do just that?
Feel free to post your opinion in comments and I will happily discuss them with you.
Tim Soulo is a blogging experimenter and conversion junkie. Check his free email course if you want to grow the traffic of your blog or check his free online tool that will show you the most popular articles of any blog you put into it.
Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory
I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.
Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.
I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.
I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.
Which road do you prefer to take?
How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product
Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.
Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.
I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.
I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.
All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.
Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations
Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.
Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.
Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.
If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.
Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.
Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.
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